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Aging Specialist Undergraduate Certificate

Aging Specialist Undergraduate Certificate

Knowledge of aging is relevant to almost every area of study, and the Undergraduate Aging Specialist Certificate may supplement majors in various departments across campus, including, but not limited to, interdisciplinary studies, health sciences, leadership, social work, communication disorders, health care administration, psychology, sociology, hospitality management and dietetics and public health. The information gained through completing this certificate program can help individuals not only in their careers but also in their personal lives as they and members of their families age. Job opportunities related to aging are numerous among many settings including health and wellness companies, senior housing, advocacy and policy organizations, financial services, biotechnology, social service agencies, and academic and research settings.

Current WKU Students

New Students

Minimum requirements for acceptance into an undergraduate certificate program are:

  • High School Diploma or Equivalent
  • Application and Fee: Students seeking a certificate program must submit an online application with Undergraduate Admissions.  The completed form must be submitted along with a one-time application fee of $45.00 (non-refundable).
  • Transcript Record: Graduates/Transfers of accredited institutions other than WKU must submit an official transcript from that institution.

Admission Process for New Students

Starting your certificate program can be completed by following the steps below. Please note: These steps should be completed ONLY by those who wish to earn the certificate as a stand-alone credential. If you plan to earn an associate degree or bachelor's, please follow the application process for that degree and submit the certificate program form to your advisor

  • Apply for admission 
  • Submit Required Materials:
    • Beginning Freshmen: An official high school transcript (no faxed transcripts accepted) and ACT or SAT scores. Students over the age of 21 may substitute the ACCUPLACER for ACT/SAT.
    • Transfer Students: Send your official transcripts from each college attended to Undergraduate Admissions. You may request electronic transcripts through the National Student Clearinghouse. This speeds up the admissions process considerably. If your school is not listed with the Clearinghouse, please contact them directly to see if they have another process in place for electronic submissions or request that an official copy be sent by mail. Transfer students with fewer than 24 semester hours of college credit earned, must also submit high school transcript and ACT or SAT scores.

To apply to WKU and earn the Aging Specialist Certificate:

Complete the WKU Domestic and International Undergraduate Application

Under Planned Course of Study Section, if you are not enrolling in any other program, choose:

  1. Category of Study >>> Certificate
  2. Planned Course of Study >>> Aging Specialist Certificate
  3. Primary Location >>> Web (online)

The 15-semester-hour program includes 6 required hours in gerontology and 9 hours distributed across the three categories below. GERO 490 Independent Study in Gerontology (1-6 credits) and GERO 495 Topics in Gerontology (1-3 credits) may be counted towards the certificate.  For more information about the certificate, please contact Marybeth Hunt at marybeth.hunt@wku.edu or 270-745-3177.  

Students wishing to receive the certificate must complete the Undergraduate Certificate Form


  • GERO 100 Introduction to the Aging Experience (3)
  • GERO 485 Seminar in Gerontology (3)

APPROVED ELECTIVES (9 hours) Choose one from each category below:

Biomedical and Health Services: (3) hours

  • BIOL 344 Biology of Aging
  • CD 489 Communication Disorders: Aging
  • EXS 455 Exercise and Aging
  • HMD 367 Nutrition for the Aging Population
  • NURS 451 Gerontological Nursing
  • PH 443 Health and Aging
  • PH 464 Women's Health

Social and Behavioral Sciences: (3) hours

  • ECON 365 Economics of Aging
  • PH 444 Death, Dying and Bereavement
  • PHIL 322 Biomedical Ethics
  • PHIL 426 Philosophy of Old Age
  • PSYS 423 Psychology of Adult Life and Aging
  • SOCL 342 Aging in Society

Administration, Policy and Management: (3) hours

  • FIN 161 Personal Finance
  • FIN 444 Retirement and Planning
  • HCA 340 Health Care Org and Management
  • HCA 345 Long-Term Care Administration
  • HCA 353 Quality in Long-Term Care
  • HCA 355 Nursing Facility Administration
  • HCA 471 Managed Care
  • PLS 395 Estate Planning and Administration
  • SWRK 326 Services for Older Adults 

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view, 
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Aging Specialist Advisor

Professor Marybeth Hunt 
Phone: (270) 745-3177
Email: marybeth.hunt@wku.edu
Department Website: wku.edu/aging/aging_specialist.php

WKU Online:

Phone: (270) 745-5173
Toll-Free: 888-4WKUWEB / 888-495-8932        
Email: learn.online@wku.edu


For more information about the cost of the program, average time to complete the program, and other important information, please visit this website.

For more information about this program, fill out the form below.

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 Last Modified 4/18/18